Ooh - got your attention there!
I write in a rare state of suppressed fury and burning indignation, hence my willfully provocative massive overstatement of a title. In my defence, I have been provoked:
Last week in one of the papers there was an article by some Canadian bint complaining that all British men are rubbish. Today it's the Daily Telegraph saying all men are boring:
Now the Canadian woman I understand and almost sympathise with; she had evidently come to London having built a fictional London in her mind based on Jane Austen's books and Hugh Grant's films, expecting to be swept off her feet by some Darcy-esque man, only to discover that fictional characters are, well, fictional. But having said that, it's still her fault that she had unrealistic expectations. She probably was also labouring under the common misconception that the mere exoticism of her being Canadian was going to count as a big plus. Now while I like Canadians as a general rule, including some of my own relatives who live there, her hopes were probably a bit on the high side.
The Telegraph article is, however, a piece of blatant sexist fundamentalism. And I do realise it's meant as a provocative opinion piece to generate discussion, incidentally. This woman starts from the arguably true but trivial notion that men and women communicate differently, and instantly leaps to the conclusion that therefore men are wrong and inadequate for, umm, being men.
Why is it always us who are deemed to be wrong, automatically and without right of appeal?
Now personally, I have opted out of the whole morass of social crappiness that this woman describes by marrying an Asian woman. This means several things:
1) I can be appreciated for my few adequate qualities as a husband and father without an endless list of unmeetable demands being laid on me;
2) My social life revolves largely around Indonesian and Anglo-Indonesian families, who don't go for the 'boy-girl-boy-girl' seating plan interminable dinner party. Instead, we have large free-form buffets with tribes of kids charging around, and the women chatting in one room while the men chat in another. Try it some time - it's a far pleasanter experience than having to chat to a crashing bore that a well meaning hostess has plonked next to you. And yes, prattling women are as boring to us as we are to them.
3) I don't have to listen to some wretched Bridget Jones-ish British woman whingeing on me endlessly as a fixture of my home life.
There used to be a certain stigma attached to white men with Asian wives. Perhaps there still is and I've just given up noticing. Anyway, it used to be a commonly held belief that white men acquired "mail-order brides" (which, incidentally is not a true description in our case or any of the mixed couples we know, but there you have it...) because there was something wrong with the men concerned, rendering them incapable of having a functional relationship with a western woman. I am increasingly drawn to the conclusion that this is not the case; it's the general inadequacy and over-demandingness of western women that lead the men to 'opt out' of being continually told how crap they are by marrying a foreign woman who actually appreciates the good qualities of British men (and we do have some, after all).